All types of asbestos fibres are known to cause asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma in humans, which poses a significant handling and disposal issue as asbestos cement was used extensively in the construction industry until the 1980s and 1990s in most developed countries.
Therefore infrastructure containing asbestos which is demolished or exposed to natural weathering events are a considerable risk, especially when the lifespan of cementitious asbestos is approximately 30 years and refurbishment works are needed.
Processing asbestos cement by MCD eliminates the carcinogenic effects of fibrous asbestos by grinding it into an ultra-fine amorphous powder.
The central concept behind the fibre destruction process is that mechano-chemical treatment of crystalline substances like asbestos leads to an extremely high degree of amorphisation and phase change usually seen in thermal reactions exceeding 1000°C. An interesting phenomenon as the bulk matrix does not exceed 180°C for during MCD treatment.
MCD is a sustainable technique for achieving complete asbestos fibre denaturation without the high energy input and scaling issues often encountered with conventional systems.
The resultant powder of the entire process can be reused as a high-grade cement additive, exemplifying EDL’s waste-to-value approach and circular economic principles which are now seen in the progressive global waste industry.